The Pensacola Community Arts and Recreation Association (PCARA) has done it again for a peaceful good time by holding their 22nd annual cookout this past Saturday, October 17th, with food, fun, music, and civic engagement. Promoting the event as an “Annual United Together for Non-Violence and a Drug Free Community” event at the historical Fricker Community Center on Pensacola’s West Side went off like a charm.
Hundreds enjoyed the great weather and the speakers touting anti-drug and anti-violence messages, the Belmont Youth Band, a rap gospel artist, to a dancer acting out a gospel musical presentation. Surrounding the field were the community organizations like the NAACP bringing their advocacy for voter registration and youth community involvement along with the Escambia County Elections Supervisor’s Office. Other organizations present were Community Drug and Alcohol, Salvation Army, the Department of Juvenile Justice, Children’s Home Society, Boy’s Base, ECAT, and Healthy Minds a behavioral health organization focused on the neighborhood around Fricker Center.
Police Chief David Alexander and County Commissioner Lumon May were high profile law enforcement and elected county officials in attendance at the cookout. Both made their presence felt with the children and the adults walking around the field of activity making conversation. Leroy Williams, the Founder and President of PCARA and the annual cookout, felt that this was the best of all cookouts held in the past. Williams stated that, “This cookout exceeded many of the others we have held over the years. I received many comments on how positive the event was to bring a message of unity in our community. I really feel we accomplished all of our objectives for the event.”